The Best (and Most Embarrassing) Cranberry Relish Recipe Ever

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The Best (and Most Embarrassing) Cranberry Relish Recipe EverMy children will not eat it. In fact, I can’t make it anymore for my own family because they are so embarrassed by it. That said, whenever I’m invited to dinner in friends’ homes, I ask that $50 question: What can I bring? The majority of the time, the response is: “Just bring your relish.”

According to my mother, Ruthie, our family relish recipe came out of either a women’s magazine or was printed on a can. Regardless of where it came from, it reigns up there with the renowned string bean casserole and my mother’s famous cheesecake made with crushed coconut cookie crust, originally from Ladies’ Home Journal.

Their embarrassment stems from these two facts:

People get very excited over this dish and exclaim how fabulous it is.

All I did to “make” it was open up a few cans and mix.

Yes, I’ve adapted to my family’s needs and preferences. I do know how to make a real cranberry relish from scratch by popping fresh cranberries in orange juice; however, when something tastes as great as my canned and mixed relish, why bother? You decide.

Cranberry Relish Recipe a la Ruthie and Sheryl Print This Post Print This Post

The Best (and Most Embarrassing) Cranberry Relish Recipe EverIngredients

  • 2 cans whole cranberry sauce (I prefer Ocean Spray)
  • 1 can drained crushed pineapple or chunks in natural juice (I like chunks)
  • 1 large can mandarin oranges in water or unsweetened
  • 1 cup of walnut pieces, hand snapped, rather than crushed or all matching
  • 1 can pitted cherries or 1 cup frozen pitted cherries (preferably without added sugar)


Drain the pineaple, oranges and cherries. Mix it altogether, keep chilled, drain again (careful not to let the cranberry sauce itself ooze out) or serve with a slotted spoon.  Refigerate before serving for about an hour, or serve immediately.

Let me know your vote: Delicious or Embarrassing? I say delish! Happy holidays.

Enjoy Sheryl Kayne’s The Weigh It Is columns on food, fitness and diet humor at


  • Sheryl Kayne is a writer, editor, educator, and motivational speaker. She is the author of travel guidebooks. Immersion Travel USA: The Best & Most Meaningful Volunteering, Living & Learning Excursions was awarded The Society of American Travel Writers Foundation’s Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award for Best Travel Guidebook 2009 and Volunteer Vacations Across America was named on Amazon’s list of best new travel books 2010. Kayne travels extensively and works and volunteers where she visits. She was the writer-in-residence at the Everglades National Park, Homestead, Fla. and a writing fellow at the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation in Taos, N.M. She has appeared on NPR, CNN, CBN, ABC Weekend Evening News, Lifetime Television Network, and MTV, among others. Visit Sheryl at:

2 Responses

  1. Sheryl Kayne says:

    Love the upside down, Ocean Spray can of whole cranberry sauce!

  2. Margie E from NYC says:

    So happy to see this recipe being shared. (No cherries, however.)
    My version is from my Mother, who adds raspberry jam, to taste, for sweetness. We use fresh,whole cranberries, which can be a bit tart.

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